28 June

We Can Be to host an introductory morning in July

Earlier this year, we hosted our annual We Can Be event, opening the doors for almost 200 young women to 12 businesses and allowing them to experience life in a City office first hand. In many cases this was a first for the young people – the first time they stepped foot into the swanky offices of a City law firm, the first time they got to meet professional women at all levels in a board room and the first time they shared a room with senior leaders candidly sharing their career stories  

The morning workshops varied from introductions to financial services via fun activities to round-table discussions on how to communicate effectively in the workplace. After lunch, the young women from 12 schools came together at 155 Bishopsgate for an interactive afternoon of live talks, activities and goal settingchaired by Vanessa Chiedza Sanyauke, CEO of Girls Talk and a room of senior leaders, advocates and City role models.   

On the day, Zariatt Masood from DofE said:

“We Can Be is really inspirational because it gives women the opportunity to find role models that look like them, who might have come from the same background and empowers them to forge their own career. They are going to be equipped with skills that will be transferrable when they apply for jobs, do their CVs and university applications. It’s a chance for them to see what life beyond school is like.”  

Sponsored by City businesses LGT Wealth Management and Evelyn Partners and supported by charity partners The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Place2Be who onboarded many of the participating schools, the event was a huge success. The aim of We Can Be is to inspire young people into roles in the City if they want them and to highlight that they already possessmany of the skills needed to succeed – from effective personal branding to problem solving to critical thinking. By empowering these bright young women to see their value, we can raise their aspirations and smash their own stigma around succeeding.   

Emma Moffat from Evelyn Partners added:

“I think if you don’t have access to The City or a role model in The City, it’s really hard to imagine yourself there. Personally I didn’t have anyone in The City, but I was fortunate enough to do some work experience but many people don’t have that opportunity. It’s really important just to show these young girls what an average day in the office looks like.”  

The organisations that took part got to meet tomorrow’s talent today and to hear first-hand what these young women need to feel confident in their career choices.They were giftedinsights into thekey drivers and desires of 15-18 year-olds, helping them to shape attractive recruitment strategies for the brightest stars of the next generation. By connecting with young women from a range of London and UK boroughs, those businesses can best understand the need to create equitable and supportive workplace cultures for all employees regardless of background to not just attract the best but retain and get the most from them 

But what did the young women think? We asked our young attendees to hand in a pledge to themselves inspired by their We Can Be 2023 journey. They pledged to:

“Be more open-minded with my future job decisions and focus in school”  

“Focus on my education and be an awesome Head Girl”  

“Accept opportunities no matter the difficulty or how uncomfortable it makes me”  

“Reach out to a few people and look for mentors”  

“Be a role model for young women to be part of the tech industry”  

“Appreciate my skills and values more without underestimating myself”  

“Find work experience in an industry which allows me to get my foot in the door”  

“Increase my confidence and leadership skills” 

We also asked them what the day helped them to think they can be – some of the best answers included:  

“The best version of myself in my future job  

“A successful female in cyber security  

“The best that I can be  

“A lawyer at Linklaters  

“An ambassador to a European country or a lobbyist for an International company  

“A women in the tech industry  

“An engineer”  

“A successful business woman”   

We are hosting an 2024 Introductory Morning at the Bank of China on July 11th 2022, from 10.30am-12pm. To grab one of the last spaces available, please email We Can Be Programme Manager, Carla at skills@thelordmayorsappeal.org 

If you are a City business and would like to get involved with #WeCanBe2024, please reach out to us at skills@thelordmayorsappeal.org to find out more

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